The games between Pakistan vs Australia were both one sided. Billy Stanlake, blew away Pakistan’s top order and the game pretty much ended there and then. In the 2nd game, Pakistan came roaring back with Fakhar Zaman and Asif Ali setting up a very good total, and Shaheen Shah Afridi ended Australia’s resistance. With both sides beating Zimbabwe comfortably, this really is a final. There is no context to the series, except development of the sides and helping Zimbabwe with their financial woes. The close contest between Pakistan and Australia, has provided it some meaning for fans.
Australian captain, Aaron Finch has found form at a crucial time & wont be surprise if he takes over from Tim Paine in ODIs as well. Early in the tournament, that little bit of moisture in the wicket & Pakistan’s inapt batting gave Australia an easy. Runs for Maxwell, would have been a big relief for coach Justin Langer, who has backed him no end so far. In the 2nd game, perhaps it was the cold weather, which may have a drop in standards of the Australians or Pakistani’s strong team just outplayed them.
As for Pakistan, captain Sarfaraz would absolutely love a score. While, he has scored against Zimbabwe, his contributions against the Australians haven’t been noteworthy. Another question would be whether to bring back Hasan Ali or stick with the 3 left armers. They could leave out Usman Shinwari. Its a nice problem to have for any team. Harris Sohail as a T20 opener experiment hasn’t been a success after two tries. I am usually not a fan of chopping and changing especially after just 2 innings, but it was obvious from the very start, Harris isn’t cut to open in T20. The progressive decision would be to bring Shahabzada Farhan, but Pakistan’s management doesn’t usually go for the progressive decision. Words like ‘big match experience’ & ‘senior player’ would be thrown around and Hafeez would be brought back. Unless, Micky pulls off a surprise.
In a unusual time to play cricket, the likes of Fakhar Zaman, Aaron Finch and Solomon Mire have given the fans entertainment. Billy Stanlake and Shaheen Shah Afridi in contrasting styles, showed that bowling is very much relevant in T20s.
Time to find out how well this very good T20 Pakistan team does in a tournament situation.